Having Solved All Of America’s Problems, Dem Senate To Hold Hearing On NFL Bounties


(Politico) A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on the bounty system allegedly used by several National Football League teams – one day after top coaches from the New Orleans Saints were suspended as punishment for a program that awarded players with cash if they injured their opponents.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who will chair the hearing, said Thursday the committee will also investigate whether federal sports bribery laws need to be changed to include sports bounty programs. The date for the hearing has yet to be announced, but Durbin said it will occur after the Easter recess.

“We will have a hearing and put on the record what sports leagues and teams at the professional and collegiate levels are doing to make sure that there’s no place in athletics for these pay-to-main bounties,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Thursday. “I want to hear the policies and practices in each of the major sports and collegiate sports that are being put in place.”

Let’s be honest, Durbin does have a point: this has no place in the game. It is a game. This isn’t like placing bounties on the heads of Al Qaeda leaders. It’s a game. And a business. And a livelihood. I 100% agree with the year long suspension of New Orleans Saints Sean Peyton. And the possible lifetime ban of Greg Williams. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Rams had to pay the price, as Williams was hired as their defensive coordinator, but, at least they have time to change. One question remains: what about the players involved? Some have moved on to other teams. Do you suspend them, and hose those teams? Do you just suspend Saints players and fine those on other teams?

And, from the Washington Post

But “It goes way beyond the rules of any sporting contest, at least team contest, to intentionally inflict harm on another person for a financial reward,” the senator told ESPN.

Pete Rose was banned for life for gambling, and still maintains he didn’t bet on the Reds to lose. Marge Schott was banned for life for racist remarks. Steve Howe was banned for drug use while playing. There have been plenty of players who were banned for life in all different sports, both while as a player and after. Same with owners and coaches. Look at the penalties on colleges. They can lose scholarships, forfeit bowl game eligibility, and forfeit previous wins in previous seasons (that one’s pretty dumb, IMO. They already won them). Players can be suspended and lose college eligibility, and most of the time it revolves around taking money. Not programs designed to injure other players for pay. Those injuries can have severe consequences for the finances and health of players.

But, as Marco Rubio points out

“#senate hasn’t passed a #budget in almost 3 yrs but is going to have hearings on #bounties in #nfl?” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Twitter. “#comeonman.”


Ed Morrissey has more.

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5 Responses to “Having Solved All Of America’s Problems, Dem Senate To Hold Hearing On NFL Bounties”

  1. Gumball_Brains says:

    How is this a federal crime issue?
    How is this a component of betting on games?

    Explain to me please how picking on one person will fix a practice that every team conducts?

    Are contract bonuses now going to be made illegal?

    Also, when did this become larger than the survival of the american economy?

    Has there been any, any, kind of call for a change? Or for retribution that Dicky Durban-inski can point to as his defense for proposing such an investigation?

  2. gitarcarver says:

    This is horrible. I wrote about this Friday morning to appear on Saturday. Now I see it here.

    I did not copy your post or idea!!!

    Dang. 😉

  3. Heh! Such is the blogosphere. It happens.

    What gets me sometime is I write about a story, usually something globull warming related, and then the big boys and girls in the ‘sphere highlight the story days later, and I knew I was ahead of the curve. Sigh.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Just didn’t want you to think that I wrote it after you had. I think you know that if you write something that “inspires” me, I give attribution.

    But your comment on ROH is correct. This is a distraction. I wish the NFL and the other leagues would stand up to what is basically going to be a dog and pony show and say “don’t you have better things to do?”

    The whole incident is a so called “solution” without a problem.

  5. I’ve had the same thing happen with headlines a bunch of times. No biggee

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